How to Keep Live Christmas Wreaths and Live Garlands Fresh

LAST UPDATED: Nov 19, 2019 | PUBLISHED: Nov 19, 2019 | By: Julie Blanner

Tips and tricks to keep your live wreaths and greenery garland looking fresh and fragrant to enjoy them throughout the holiday season, without the mess. Bring stair garland and fresh Christmas wreaths into your home for the holidays without fear of them drying prematurely.

How to Keep Live Christmas Wreaths and Live Garlands Fresh

Fresh Christmas Wreaths and Greenery Garland

I prefer decorating with fresh greens for the holidays. Bringing the outdoors in brings your home to life, adds a lovely and festive fragrance and eliminates the need to store decor.

You can take a tour of our holiday home filled with fresh flowers and holiday greens right here. It’s a can’t miss photo tour, with video too

Long-Lasting Holiday Greenery for Your Home

There’s just something so special about bringing that fragrant foliage into our home. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, but I would trade out the mess. Over the years, I’ve discovered a few ways to prolong the life of our fresh greenery garland, wreaths, and stems for as long as possible.

christmas wreath

For me, it’s worth a little extra effort to incorporate live Christmas wreaths, live greenery garlands and stems of greens into our decor. With these easy steps, you can extend the life of your greens and enjoy them all season.

Some even look prettier as they dry! Stair garland has always been my favorite to integrate. It’s so dramatic and dresses up stairs so beautifully. We usually enjoy our greenery garland on our stairs for 3-4 weeks!

traditional stair garland

How Long will Fresh Greenery Garland Last?

Indoors, live Christmas Wreaths and fresh greenery garlands can last two to three weeks when properly cared for. Outdoor in cooler climates they can last much longer.

The processes for keeping greenery garlands, fresh Christmas wreaths and loose greenery are very similar, but with a slight change in steps for each. Read on for all my favorite tips to keep the holiday spirit alive in your home for as long as possible! 

make live garlands last longer

How to Keep Live Christmas Wreaths Fresh

keep christmas wreaths fresh

  1. Store them in a cool area until ready to use. A garage, unfinished basement or refrigerator are all viable options.
  2. Before hanging submerge live wreaths in enough water to feed the cut stems overnight. This helps them absorb as much moisture as possible before using.
  3. Use an anti-desiccant spray to seal in the moisture.
  4. To maintain, spritz the back of the wreath with water so the cut stems can drink the water. This will retain it’s fragrance and extend it’s life. You can also spritz the front of live wreaths and garlands.
  5. If possible, keep them out of sunlight and away from heat vents. Dry, hot air will dry out your live greens more than anything else! 

christmas wreaths

How to Keep Live Garlands Fresh

keep live garlands fresh

  1. Store them in a cool area until ready to use. A garage, unfinished basement or refrigerator are all viable options.
  2. Use an anti-desiccant spray to seal in the moisture. Don’t skip this step! 
  3. Spritz the garland with water every 2-3 days to extend the life. I like to use this glass spray bottle.
  4. If possible, keep them out of sunlight and away from heat vents.

QUICK TIP: You can also purchase the anti-desiccant product as a concentrate, which can be mixed with your water prior to soaking your fresh greens. I have found this to be less messy than the spray bottle of Wilt Pruf and perhaps even more thorough, ensuring that all the greenery is covered.

fresh pine garland

How to Keep Christmas Greens Fresh

A favorite trick of mine is to simply purchase long fresh stems of holiday greenery that I can incorporate in vases and containers throughout my home.

keep christmas greens fresh

  1. Store them in a cool area until ready to use. A garage, unfinished basement or refrigerator are all viable options.
  2. Cut the stems at a 45 degree angle with pruners and place in water that is room temperature.
  3. If they are going into a fresh Christmas garland or wreath, gently crush the exposed stem with a small hammer. Allow the stems to drink water for a few hours after cutting them before integrating them.
  4. Use an anti-desiccant spray to seal in the moisture.
  5. If possible, keep them out of sunlight and away from heat vents and the fireplace.
  6. If you have your greenery stems in a vase of water, be sure to change the water every second day. Clean, fresh water is ideal for extending the life of holiday greenery stems. 
  7. Spritz the fresh Christmas greens with water every 2-3 days to extend the life. I like to use this glass spray bottle.

best garlands to use indoors

The Best Greenery to Use Indoors

Pine, fir, cedar and English holly tend to do better indoors than other greens. Furthermore, boxwood is often a great option for fresh greenery, because it dries beautifully and tends to preserve in place without dropping.

You can learn how to preserve boxwood, how to enhance a wreath from the grocery store and create this winter centerpiece here!

Prefer dried? You’ll love this Laurel Wreath for fall!

Thanks for joining me for these tips and tricks for keeping your holiday greens fresh longer. 

*This post was originally published on November 10, 2018 and updated November 19, 2019.

If you try any of these tips and tricks, please come back and share a comment below with your results! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too! For easy recipes and simple living ideas, subscribe to my newsletter!

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